M5U3A1 Differentiating Lesson Plans to Meet Student Needs

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M5U3A1 Differentiating Lesson Plans to Meet Student Needs by Mind Map: M5U3A1 Differentiating Lesson Plans to Meet Student Needs

1. Objective

1.1. By the end of this unit, when given a set of raw data, 10th grade math students will be able to consistently represent the data as a scatter plot that is appropriately labeled and includes an appropriate scale

2. Learning Profiles

2.1. Sarah is a student who learns by doing. Even in math class she needs to copy notes even after she has completed them in class. Her studying technique is to listen again to video lessons and copy everything down again. To acquire new concepts, Sarah is best served by manipulative and hands on activities. While she is balanced academically, she is a reader and writer by nature. In this sense she is very creative, but in the math classroom she is much more practical - needing to know the uses of the math in order to fully appreciate it.

2.1.1. With the above profile attributes in mind it is clear that one strategy needed for Sarah is extra time. Not because of a learning disability such as dyslexia or autism, but because her learning style comes with a need for more time as she writes outs notes that are already completed once again in order to retain the information. Using a "flipped classroom" model coupled with a Learning Management System can offer Sarah the ability to copy her notes and "study" anywhere and at anytime.

2.1.2. Since Sarah learns math best when it is practical and hands on, activities should be designed in a way that gets Sarah using her hands to learn. A good example of this for our objective is to has her collect the data instead of given it to her and then allowing her the time to enter it into spreadsheets and do graphs and analysis rather than to work regression problems in the book.

2.2. Alex, unlike Sarah above, is an analytical student who needs to read and listen more than do the work - though she does find value in doing plenty of practice problems. Rather than solve problems through a variety of methods, she is a student who works best with formulas and a set process. Things need to be very concrete for Alex.

2.2.1. In today's math classroom there has been a shift from knowing and using formulas to solving problems in a variety of methods. This is fine, but for students like Alex, the teacher will still need to take the time to help Alex discover and understand how to use formulas to solve problems.

2.2.2. As Alex needs explanations to be concrete, the teacher needs to take care to develop problems and explanations that are very straight forward and not abstract for Alex. Alex is a mathematical-logical thinking so loads of problems to solve will go a long way in helping Alex retain the concepts.

3. Interests

3.1. While Zachariah is very capable math student, he is very much uninterested in math as a whole and is satisfied with average (or just above average) results. Zachariah will often do just enough to achieve a level that he wants rather than what he is capable of. Zachariah is an excellent reader and loves sports. When given the opportunity to apply math to sports, Zachariah is very engaged. If given random problems to solve that are meant to build skills, he will often be off task.

3.1.1. Since he loves sports so much, plenty of examples and explanations that involve sports would go a long way in sparking Zachariah's interests. Rather than explain the mathematics behind, say projectile, motion, Zachariah, who loves volleyball, could be given simulations where he can apply projectile motion to serving, setting, and bumping a volleyball to reach the optimal place on the court.

3.1.2. Zachariah needs to be "heard" and "seen". If he feels that a class or teacher does not understand his needs and learning style, he will shut down. While this it not specific to math nor the objective itself, it is an important strategy to keep him interested. Acknowledging Zachariah's interests and strengths - sports and reading, in the classroom will go a long way to help keep him engaged.

3.2. Kimin is a quiet student that can be often misunderstood or unnoticed in class. Kimin loves music and using apps such as Garage Band to design mash-ups. He does not necessarily show a genuine love of mathematics, but does desire to enter into the engineering field when he attends university. Specifically, he would like to student acoustics and sound design related fields.

3.2.1. With his interest in music, using examples and activities that involve music and sound will keep Kimin engaged. Allowing him the freedom to collect and use data that pertains to sound and music will help him not only learn, but keep him engaged and spark his interest in math.

3.2.2. As Kimin is often misunderstood and unnoticed, it is important, much like Zachariah above, that the teacher employ strategies that "notice" him and acknowledge his high abilities in math. This can be as simple as calling on him to solve problems and answer questions, or even not making the assumption that his quiet, stone-cold face as a sign of lack of interest or respect.

4. Levels of Readiness

4.1. Philip is an outstanding student who has consistently achieved the top level for his class in mathematics since joining the school in 6th grade. Often times, Philip has either already learned the material via private tutoring or catches on far quicker than other students in the class. Once area of growth for Philip, however, is with him showing his working and/or being able to explain how he came to a certain conclusion for a problem.

4.1.1. In the first case where Philip has already learned the material via private tutoring, Philip would be best served by enrichment activities where is is applying the knowledge he has acquired to solve real-life problems. Often times in Korea these private tutors teach the skills, but not the applications. With the popularity of online tools such as Khan Academy, Mathletics, and iXL, Philip could also be challenged to try further topics related to the learning.

4.1.2. For the situation where Philip catches on very quickly, we could once again offer an enrichment activity like above. However, since Philip needs to develop the skills of articulating his workings, we could meet this need and the needs of others like Olena below, by grouping him with students who need help. This way, the students who need help get it and Philip gets practice in an area he needs practice - explaining steps to solve a problem.

4.2. Olena, is the opposite of Philip. She was misplaced by the school in a math track that was far too high for her due to staffing and enrolment issues at the school more than three years ago. As a result, Olena lacks the algebra skills (namely working with linear and quadratic functions) to work with much of the math that is presented in this classroom. Sadly, the school has done nothing about the gaps it created by misplacing her, and has left it to the teacher to deal with.

4.2.1. Learning experiences should be designed in such a way that helps develop not only the skills needed for this objective, but that also fill in the gaps that Olena has. Formative assessments should also check on Olena's development in said gaps, not only on her progress in the content for this objective. In all, the assessments and experiences should be scaffolded such that the gaps have a minimum impact on her ability to meet this objective.

4.2.2. While not a strategy that is in the classroom specifically, Olena should be offered and encouraged to attend extra help sessions to fill the gaps that she has. Practically speaking it will be hard (as it always has been) for her to grasp the concepts for this unit without proper background knowledge. These session can be with the teacher or a tutor, which the school offers with higher level students leading the session and supervised by a math teacher.

5. Summary

5.1. 1. The importance of identifying the learning profiles, interests, and levels of readiness of your students in planning for instruction.

5.1.1. It has been well documented that a "one size fits all" strategy in the classroom no longer works. Students learn differently, have different interests and come with varying levels of readiness to learn the material that is being taught in the classroom. By identifying the learning profiles, interests and levels of readiness of our students we can better design our units, lessons, assessments and learning activities to cater to their needs and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to learn. With that being said, it should be noted, however, that this does not mean, nor does it require the teacher to designed a multitude of activities for the same objective, but to design activities that address each of these as best as possible.

5.2. 2. How you will learn about your students’ learning profiles, interests, and levels of readiness.

5.2.1. There are a variety of methods that I can use to learn about my students' learning profiles, interest and levels of readiness. I really did like the quizzes offered during our virtual class (http://www.educationplanner.org/students/self-assessments/learning-styles-quiz.shtml and http://www.edutopia.org/multiple-intelligences-assessment). Additionally, simple things such as conversations with the students, their parents and their previous teachers will go a long way. However, care needs to be taken when talking to parents and teachers with regards to biased information. I have always held the belief that every year is a new year and a new beginning - offering students a chance for a fresh start.

5.3. 3. Why you chose the teaching strategies that you did to meet the needs of your students.

5.3.1. Overall, I chose the teaching strategies that I did because they are specific to the learning profiles, interests, and levels of readiness for each student identified. By using each of these strategies, I can increase the chances for my students to achieve levels that they are capable of.